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AllJustString.com – Forum For Fiber Folks

January 1st, 2014 at 08:45 am » Comments (1)

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Sooner or later everything reaches a tipping point.

We are finally launching a “dream project” AllJustString is intended to provide a place for personal development of our skills and knowledge, keep the information accessible and organized in a manner that will allow those who follow to find and benefit in a way not currently possible in other venues.

It is also a founding principle that many of us don’t have craft-tunnel-vision – meaning that we enjoy many forms of craft and there is great diversity in how we each choose to bend our string. We can admire and respect those who practice a technique whether we choose to participate,

Our goal is help each other build on skills and knowledge and derivations – while giving our undying respect and support to those offering the opportunity to expand our knowledge and skill from the quick picture or video tutorials, to (at least in my home) a whole bookcase of others who have “done the research” and codified technique, and in many cases, the history of their chosen craft.

It is our obligation as an artisan (someone who works with their hands and their heart) to acknowledge as much as possible those who made our development possible. It is our ethical obligation to respect their copyrights and never feel we “need” to get attention by sharing that which is not ours to share.

At the end of the day, other than for marketing purposes, the only thing likely to be truly original is how you present it. And that work should be judged on your competence and vision.

Our goal is to help you find the knowledge and information you need, in a manner respectful to you, and to your sources of inspiration.

I hope you will join us and bring along some friends to show and share our love of our crafts and our fiber artistic adventures (remember, beads are lumps string so they count too)

Always Take Time To Enjoy The Making
Wheat Carr, founder
The Forum for Fiber Folk:

Forum: http://alljuststring.invisionzone.com/
Shop: http://www.ItsAllJustString.com
Like: http://www.FaceBook.com/ItsAllJustString

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Crochet Skill Levels

July 10th, 2013 at 12:22 pm » Comments (5)

This day started with a lively telephone conversation with a lovely lady wanting me to accept a pattern return. Her request was based because it required her to have skills she did not. Turns out she had a good case for why I should accept the return.

The Craft Yarn Council’s Yarn Standards for Crochet Skill levels is located at:

Skill levels have always seemed to be the red-haired step child and for Crochet, One almost needs to be a psychic to figure out what they mean.

Vague descriptions like “using basic stitches” without saying what basic stitches might be is useless.

Thankfully most publishers now make a point of listing the “Stitches Used” and maybe even some instructions – certainly for “special” or “pattern” stitches” – I am quite willing to pretty much go along with the CYC when it comes to using its Crochet Chart Symbols to define Basic Stitches (in you want to know more about where we part company, it is covered in the post for tomorrow BasicStitches-Crochet .

It is my controversial opinion, that IF the Pattern Author gives a SKILL level, and has made it clear what they mean, then it is not reasonable to expect them to change/rewrite a pattern to a lower skill level.

And, if they have failed to make clear what the crocheter must be able to do, then they need to fix their publication format. This is especially true if they self-publish downloadable PDFs.

I also think that beginner patterns should include more instruction (basic stitch illustrations) and thus might need to cost more for printed versions. Again, with Downloads, the printing costs are not a factor for the Pattern Author/Publisher. The Crocheter can choose which if any pages need to be printed out.

One of the reasons the onus is on the Pattern Author is because, in my cluttered mind, Skill level should be defining what you need to be able to do to complete a project that includes various techniques. This does not seem to be the case in the CYC Skill Level definions. And so far, the CYC does not. For example

    BEGINNER: CYC says: Projects for first time crocheters using basic stitches – minimal shaping.
    Instead I would submit that the BEGINNER Crocheter needs to know how to:

  • the SYMBOL and ABBREVIATION for each of the Basic Stitches as well as how to form/make these stitches.
  • Basic Stitches about include: ch, sl st, sc, hdc, dc, tc,
  • Basic Terminology includes: inc, dec, turn, join, rep and the symbols (if any) associated with them
  • Nominal finishing such as at least one method for adding yarn and weaving in ends should be a part of the New/Beginner Crochet Skill level
  • Along with Basic Pattern instructional abbreviations such as parenthesis, star/asterisks, daggers, and the symbols (if any associated with them)
    EASY CYC says: Projects using yarn with basic stitches, repetitive stitch patterns, simple color changes, and simple shaping and finishing.

  • I have long suspected the use of EASY was more about marketing than a level of competency.
    I think this would/could be better called “Advanced Beginner” and I find I have used “Enthusiastic or Adventurous Beginner” qute often, because it is someone who has become competent in the Beginner/Basics and want to add to those skills – still relatively simple, but building on the basics.
  • Using a repetitive stitch pattern is certainly one of the most important second step basic skills. Most, could easily accomplish this if they take the time to do an “in pattern” swatch using the “special stitches” or “pattern repeats” contained within the pattern. This swatch allows them to begin the muscle memory building and working out issues such as tension within the motif or repeat.
  • The SYMBOL and ABBREVIATION for each of the Basic Stitches, plus, the ability to read and insert a repetitive stitch pattern into a project (what the +# means in a stitch guide), Color changes (building on the adding yarn), simple shaping – someone needs to define shaping – what is minimal (I would say inc/dec) and what is simple – what additional skill/knowledge is needed. and finishing.
  • Finishing needs to be defined, I would say basic finishing need to include more than just weaving in ends. It might/should include adding edging – picking up stitches around the pieces that will be combined to finish the project. Easy finishing also should include some methods for putting the pieces.
    INTERMEDIATE CYC: Projects using a variety of techniques, such as basic lace patterns or color patterns, mid-level shaping and finishing.

  • Intermediate seems to imply that one is able to combine techniques in order to create different textures and appearance within a single project.
  • Mid-Level Techniques: particularly “in the round” and at least two of its variations – spiraling and stepping up. Anyone care to suggest some others that would fit here.
  • Mid-Level shaping – The only thing that comes to mind is perhaps some ‘entry’ level free forming or the use of a sewing pattern for overall shape but fitting various stitches or stitch motifs into the shape could certain take some intricate shaping.
  • Mid-Level Finishing – one word pops up immediately ZIPPERS & Button Plackets. Additionally perhaps including wet finishing, fulling, felting and other techniques that effect the texture and hand of the completed fabric.
    EXPERIENCED CYC: Projects with intricate stitch patterns, techniques and dimension, such as non-repeating patterns, multi-color techniques, fine threads, small hooks, detailed shaping and refined

  • Frankly, I find placing fine threads and small hooks to be unacceptable as only something that can/should be done by an “experienced” crocheter. Historically, fine thread crochet to make laces was really where it all started. Yes, it takes a true love of the craft to work small, but skill levels are still varied.
  • Moving on, once one has become competent and comfortable with all the skills need through the Intermediate level you are an experienced crochet and with care and thought should not be afraid to tackle any well written pattern.

Bottom line here, I really welcome and want to hear your ideas about Skill levels as I work toward including them in my Glossary aka/What Wheat MEANT when she said…..

Enjoy The Making


CAVEAT: I may not rule the universe, but I reserve the right to disagree, even when “overall” something is valuable. In some cases, my reasons for disagreeing with the Craft Yarn Council is its underwriters are, t quite rightfully, not historically as concerned with many of the qualities (kinds) of yarns most often offered by an independent retailer like me.

That they even attempted to create voluntary standards is certainly to their credit – You might rightfully as this point mention “Pots and Kettles” and oh yes, I do know an Expert is just a drip under pressure… so – always feel free to let me know – publically or privately where I need to fix something and if/why you disagree.

BeadCreator Has Wheat wondering

April 12th, 2013 at 17:00 pm » Comments (0)

What BeadCreator is up to – but the brief intro is certainly intriguing
– use the link to get your

BeadersNetwork Invitation link
BeadersNetwork.com invitation.

The Ethical Dilemma of Pattern Derivatives

April 9th, 2013 at 08:55 am » Comments (7)

It never ceases to amaze me how the simplest and seemingly most straight forward of situations can evolve into an ethical dilemma.

In this case. someone is searching for a pattern.
It is in an out of print book
Someone else, who probably had the best of intentions,
but with no clue to the intended consequences of their actions…
Reverse engineers the pattern –
An “okay’ thing IF their own use – not distribution
Not when that derivative pattern is “shared” in many places.
(a blatant violation of copyright in ALL the countries involved Japan, USA, UK)
So now, abetted by the services posting/hosting the “Free Download” violated international law, The Geneva Convention.

And the moral dilemma, well, should I also abet the IP Violation by tell the searcher how to find the improperly shared patterns – justifying with “well then they will like me”
or rationalizing “The damage is already done, so why not”

Or, like our parents always said, “If they were going to jump off a bridge, would you do that just because they already had”.

So I really want to know,
What Would You Do?
How would you handle the situation
and why would you choose that method.

I look forward to your thoughts here, or on Like: FaceBook

Enjoy The Making

MAIL: Wheat@ItsAllJustString.com
Read: Wheat Wrote WHAT! http://www.WheatCarr.com
Shop: ItsAllJustString.com http://www.ItsAllJustString.com
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Not an Advert, An Idea

March 22nd, 2011 at 12:11 pm » Comments (1)

Okay, YES I am now selling yarn in our on-line store. And this is, to a VERY small degree related to that… but, it is more about getting your feedback – who knows if I will ever find the time to implement it.

One of the challenges for those new to design is the availability of yarn “other than” using your 40% coupons at JoAnn’s Michael’s etc.

Sure there is eBay and if you have enough street cred to have built a relationship with a particular yarn distributor.

As the economy has tightened, so have the ability of the non-Chain yarn distributors to provide yarns for sampling. In fact, maybe 90% of the time I actually buy sample skeins at retail.

From another seat at this table, retailers often have a problem with odd skeins from dye lots they can no longer match. (I have this constantly increasing box from where someone purchased 8 or 9 skeins and am left with only one of a dye lot.)

Then there is the problem not quite salable as new from returns, or torn labels or slightly underweight because someone thought it would okay to use a few yards from the skein to finish a project and then return it or other instances that cause me to refrain from selling at full price.

Additionally, for those whose only access to yarn is “on-line” how do we are today’s retailers respond to the need of the Yarn users who want to try “Yarn Shop Yarns” but still would like to obtain sample skeins to interview the yarns before committing to a major purchase.

I know this will not be quite as easy at it seems “to keep up” but I am wondering if it is something even worth doing because of the investment of time and energy required.

“your thoughts”


who is STILL in search of an independent toe-up crocheted sock
pattern that can be used “for promotional purchases” – The pattern
author will get paid but the consumer will get the pattern with the
purchase of certain yarns.

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